The Reliance GP Blog

Five steps to weight loss through sleep
Rod Beckwith December 7, 2015


Five steps to weight loss through sleep

Five steps to weight loss through sleepy of us spend hours in the gym or pounding the pavement huffing, puffing and dripping sweat in our incessant endeavour to lose weight. While any form of physical activity will definitely take you a few steps closer to your weight loss goals, surprising studies have shown that is not enough to achieve successful, sustainable weight loss. The secret to losing weight and keeping it off lies in getting a good night’s sleep! This is because sleep regulates the cortisol levels in the body. When you do not sleep enough your cortisol levels increase, keeping you feeling lethargic, depressed and stressed through the day. This makes it even more difficult to lose weight. The solution lies in improving your sleep hygiene.

Here are five steps that will help you sleep better and also achieve your long-term weight loss goals:

Step 1: Maintain a regular sleep and wake pattern
The body works most efficiently on a regular schedule. When you maintain a regular sleep and wake pattern, the brain knows what to expect and automatically send out signals to the body to start slowing down. This makes you feel more relaxed and sleepy as you approach your regular bed time and will help you fall asleep more easily.

Step 2: Remove all electronics from the bedroom
Ipads, laptops, televisions … we take all of these sources of entertainment into the bedroom with us and then wonder why we cannot sleep! The temptation to check what’s playing on HBO or log into Facebook or check out the latest Tweets is just too strong. Surrounded by so much stimulation, it’s impossible for the brain to switch off. You need to help it by ensuring that no electronics find their way into your bedroom when you are turning in for the night.

Step 3: Consider your kitchen off-limits after your bed time
Nibbling through the night quickly adds on the calories and those nasty inches. You venture into the kitchen for ‘just one nibble’ but more often than not, it’s impossible to stop at just one especially when you see all the delicious goodies in your kitchen cabinets. Before you know it, you’ve added several hundred calories to your day’s total and you feel even worse about it. Make it a rule that your kitchen stays off-limits after your bed time and get a family member to ensure that you do not break this rule.

Step 4: Maintain a sleep-conducive environment In the bedroom
A bedroom that is dark, quiet, cool and comfortable will help you sleep longer and deeper than a bedroom that is bright, noisy, uncomfortable and too hot or too cool. It’s not too difficult to achieve either. Use a good quality mattress that offers you sufficient lumbar support. Put up dark drapes and close them at night to keep the room dark. Set your thermostat to a temperature that is comfortable for you. If you cannot control the external sources of noise, a pair of earplugs should sort that out easily.

Step 5: If you snore, consider getting a customised MAS Device
Sleep apnoea is one of the most common reasons for daytime lethargy and drowsiness. When you snore at night, your airway gets blocked, obstructing your breathing. This causes you to wake up gasping for air. As soon as you take that first breath and get the oxygen you need, you go back to sleep. While all of this happens continuously through the night without you even being aware of it, you cannot ignore the persistent feelings of lethargy and drowsiness that linger on all day. Wearing a customised Mandibular Advancement Splint device helps keep your airways open through the night so your body gets the oxygen it needs, resulting in effective weight loss and an overall feeling of well-being.


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